Oct 21

Angels Landing Hike: A Sudden Case of Vertigo

The ViewAngels Landing is a great hike and for the very adventurous and just about anybody in average physical shape can make this hike.  Well, at least 90% percent of it.  The final leg of it is for the mentally tough and those who are not afraid of heights.  The final part is very steep with drops off that you will not be able to recover from if you fell.  In fact, some people have died on the trail from falling so it is not for the faint of heart.  Since it is so steep chains have been bolted to the cliff to provide hand holds as you make your way across.
Taking a BreakThe hike is five miles round trip and is labeled strenuous because it gains about 1,500 feet and it exposes the hiker to steep drop offs.  The Trail starts off at the Grotto picnic area in Zion Canyon.  The first two miles of the trail are paved and well-maintained.  The path will follow the Virgin River a little ways and then you will begin to slowly gain elevation.  After a while you will reach a place called Walter’s Wiggles named after the first director of the park Walter Ruesh.  Walter’s Wiggles are a series of 21 steep tightly lined switchbacks.  Make sure you bring plenty of water and take breaks on your way up.  Once you reach the top of the switchbacks you will arrive at Scout’s Lookout.  From Scout’s Lookout it is only .3 miles to the end of the trail.  The only problem is the last three tenths of a mile is full of heart pounding, adrenaline inducing, spine tingling steps to Angel’s Landing.

Heading Back Down

If you decided to take the trail to Angel’s Landing make sure you have proper foot wear, water, and maybe an energy bar.  Make sure you take the hike seriously if you are going all the way to the top.  It is worth the view, but if you are afraid of heights then it might not be worth the torture and sure is not worth your life.  We did see lots of families take the hike, which if you have children that are well disciplined and have some hiking/scrambling experience then go for it.  However if you have children that like to play, cannot stay focused, or constantly need to run then this is not the hike for you.  Other then what has already been mentioned the only other things that we can think of is stay cool, calm, and careful and enjoy your time in a wonderful national park.
SwitchbacksAngels Landing is one of the best hikes that Karen and I have ever been on.  It is something that we can cross off our bucket list.  Will we ever do it again if we have the chance…maybe?  I am not one for heights and I barely made it through.  Not that I slipped or was clinging to the chains hanging off the side or anything but it still gets my heart pounding just thinking about it.  I am glad that we did it once.

We survived

to read about other hikes like Angels Landing that Karen and I have done click here. 


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